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COVID-19 is already changing the way we interact with and produce food. As we each look to control the spread and impact of COVID-19, there are many questions around the risks associated with food production and to our employees to ensure that a safe and robust food supply is maintained for the public. Below you can find useful links to expert resources to help address your specific questions. We will continue to provide updates to these resources as the situation changes and new information becomes available.


Food Industry Virtual Office Hours

Join us for our weekly Q&A and facilitated discussions during our Food Industry Virtual Office Hours. Speak directly to Cornell University food safety experts in dairy, fresh fruits and vegetables, and processed foods and beverages to address your questions on COVID-19.


General Industry Guidance on COVID-19

Important Notification for NYS facilities: If a laboratory confirmed case of COVID-19 works in your facility or was known to be present in your facility, promptly notify your local health department and the Department of Agriculture and Markets at RRT@agriculture.ny.gov and perform cleaning and disinfection of all surfaces throughout the area immediately.


What to Do When an Employee Tests Positive

  • Visit this page from the FDA to find information on What to Do if You Have COVID-19 Confirmed Positive or Exposed Workers in Your Food Production, Storage, or Distribution Operations Regulated by FDA. Posted on April 28, 2020.
  • Visit this page from the CDC to find Interim Guidance for Implementing Safety Practices for Critical Infrastructure Workers Who May Have Had Exposure to a Person with Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19. Posted on April 13, 2020.
  • Visit this page from the Food and Beverage Issue Alliance (FBIA) to find Food Industry Recommended Protocols for when an Employee/Customer Tests Positive for COVID-19. Posted on April 7, 2020.

Guidance on Social Distancing


Personal Hygiene Guidance

Hand Hygiene

Respiratory Hygiene

  • Visit this page from the FDA to find information on the Use of Respirators, Facemasks, and Cloth Face Coverings in the Food and Agriculture Sector During Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Pandemic. Posted on April 28, 2020.
  • Visit this page to find information on the County of Sonoma (California) Order of the Health Officer Requiring members of the public to wear Facial Coverings. Posted on April 15, 2020.
  • Visit this page from the New York State, Department of Health, and Agriculture and Markets to find their Health Advisory on COVID-19 and the use of cloth face coverings. Posted on April 13, 2020.
  • Visit this page from the USDA to find a notice to USDA employees about face coverings to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Posted on April 13, 2020.
  • Visit this page from the CDC to find information on cough etiquette. Posted on April 8, 2020.
  • Visit this page from the CDC to find information on the Use of Cloth Face Coverings to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19. Posted on April 8, 2020.
  • Visit this page from the CDC to find a Recommendation Regarding the Use of Cloth Face Coverings in Areas of Significant Community-Based Transmission, including a video from the US Surgeon General on how to make your own face covering from items you can find around the house. Posted on April 8, 2020.
  • Visit this page from the CDC to find Questions and Answers on Cloth Face Coverings. Posted on April 8, 2020.
  • Visit this page from the FDA to find information on wearing Cloth Face Coverings in retail and food production settings to prevent exposure to COVID-19. Posted on April 8, 2020.

Cleaning & Sanitation

  • United States Environmental Protection Agency, 6 Steps for Safe & Effective Disinfectant Use. Posted on May 15, 2020.
  • Visit this page from the United States Environmental Protection Agency to find a search tool for approved disinfectants included in the List N. The same tool can also be found as a phone app, “list n tool”. Posted on May 15, 2020.
  • Visit this page from Pesticide Safety Education Program, Cornell University Cooperative Extension to find information on how to safely use cleaning and sanitizing chemicals in your home and production facility. Posted on May 7, 2020.
  • Visit this page from the FDA to find information on Hand Sanitizers Sold with Fraudulent Claims. Posted on April 28, 2020.
  • Visit this page from the New York State, Department of Health, and Agriculture and Markets to find information on interim guidance for cleaning and disinfection of food manufacturing facilities or food retail stores. Updated on April 13, 2020.
  • Use these instructions from Ecolab to verify that your chemicals are on the EPA-registered list of chemicals active against COVID-19. Posted on March 31, 2020.
  • Visit this page from the New York State, Department of Health, and Agriculture and Markets to find information on interim guidance for cleaning and disinfection of retail stores. Posted on March 25, 2020.
  • Visit this page to find a scientific review on the persistence of coronaviruses related to COVID-19 on inanimate surfaces and their inactivation with biocidal agents. Posted on March 20, 2020.
  • Visit this page from the United States Environmental Protection Agency for information on disinfectants that can be used against coronavirus. Posted on March 17, 2020.
  • Visit this page from the New York State, Department of Environmental Conservation, Bureau of Pesticides Management for information about approved chemicals and important, state-specific restrictions Posted on March 17, 2020.
  • Visit this page from the New York State, Department of Environmental Conservation for the New York State registered disinfectants (based on EPA list) with important, state-specific restrictions. Posted on March 17, 2020.

Drinking-water & Waste Management Guidance

  • Visit this page from the World Health Organization to find information about water, sanitation, hygiene and waste management. Posted on March 17, 2020.
  • Visit this page from the U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration to find information about measures for protecting workers from exposure. Posted on March 17, 2020.

Audits & Inspections

  • Visit this page from the FDA to find information on their Temporary Policy Regarding Accredited Third-Party Certification Program Onsite Observation and Certificate Duration Requirements During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. Posted on May 1, 2020.
  • Visit this page from the FDA to find information on circumstances under which the FDA does not temporarily intend to enforce the requirement for an onsite audit. Posted on March 19, 2020.
  • Visit this page from the FDA to find information on their intention to temporarily not enforce supplier verification onsite audit requirements for receiving facilities and importers under FSMA in response to the global pandemic of COVID-19. Posted on March 18, 2020.

Maintaining a Functional and Safe Supply Chain

  • Visit this page from the Harvard Business Review to find information on how to prepare your supply chain. Posted on March 17, 2020.

Work Permits for Essential Employees & Shipments

  • Use this form to request your employee be granted the right to proceed to work and the right to proceed home after work. Print the form on official company letterhead, insert employee name, insert your business name, print a copy, date and sign the document where indicated, and ask the employee to keep it on-hand to provide to authorities if needed. Posted on March 30, 2020.
  • Visit this page from the IDFA to find a Self-Certification Form to self-certify your employees or shipments as part of the nation's critical infrastructure. Print the form on official company letterhead (your own or that of your transportation provider), print a copy, sign the document where indicated, and ask the employee or driver to keep it on-hand to provide to authorities if needed to carry out their duties. Posted on March 26, 2020.

If you have specific questions around ingredients, cleaning/sanitation chemicals and procedures, personnel practices, or other food safety, supply, and distribution changes due to the impact of COVID-19, reach out to our experts:

Our team can also provide process authority services in case you need to change processes and/or formulations due to COVID-19 related challenges. For more information visit the Cornell Food Venture Center and for dairy-related process authority services contact Rob Ralyea (rdr10@cornell.edu).